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Priest who served at Sacred Heart accused of sexual abuse

Claimed cases of abuse occurred in the 1980s

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – "Credible allegations" of sexual abuse of a minor were made against Father William Malone, who served at a Jacksonville Catholic church, according to a release Thursday from the Diocese of St. Augustine.

Malone, who served in the Diocese of St. Augustine from January 1982 to March 1992, died in 2003, the release said. The cases of abuse occurred in the early 1980s at Sacred Heart Parish in Jacksonville.

According to the diocese, a thorough review of the claims was conducted by an independent investigator, who determined the accusations were credible. A statement from the diocese reads in part:

The report has been shared with local law enforcement. Bishop Felipe Estévez has met with the victim to express his deep sorrow for the pain the victim has suffered, and he apologized on behalf of the church.

Ray Taber, a member of the church, said his pastor became emotional during mass while informing the congregation.

“It's an issue that the church has got to go through now and try to deal with it properly," he said.

According to the diocese, the results of the investigation were shared with law enforcement.

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